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So I'm not telling people to like what I like. I'm telling people to choose what is the most effective, and not settle for less just because it's hard to please people. That being said, as I've said before... I fully understand why PoE did what they did. Obsidian had a smaller budget, and a time crunch. Heck, it was one of the first largely successful games on Kickstarter. So, they did what they had to. I don't have a problem with their not having the time to keep hashing out systems until they were all "perfect." What irks me is to hear people constantly make excuses for why it's somehow a waste of time or just-plain dumb to try and improve the stat system. I know you're not saying it, but there are so many conflicting statements out there. "You can't please everyone, but this system is okay because I like it just fine." Or "All systems will have problems, so just stick with this one even though many resolutions to its problems have been proposed and not yet countered." It's just weird, how hard people will try to make sure other people don't try to collaboratively improve something.

 

I can understand the mentality; other people have opinions about the game that seem to conflict with the things you like about it. Therefore, to protect your own enjoyment of the game you must shut down and/or counter these arguments. Everyone does this to an extend, myself included. It's not illogical, just unproductive. The only way to improve a system is to challenge it. Whether that be by discussing the merits of different mechanics on a forum or testing them out in-game. We can only do the former.

 

When I started reading this thread I thought adding pre-buffing would make PoE2 more fun, for me, than PoE was. Now, I'm not so sure. I also thought that I liked the PoE attribute system. Now, I'm not so sure. Maybe later someone will be able to convince me that I don't want more out-of-combat spell/ability interactions, who knows! The important thing, for me, is that things that are important to me about this game are being discussed, even if that discussion process is slow, painful and, ultimately, leads to nothing changing whatsoever.

 

Anyway, back on topic: I'd love more out-of-combat spell/ability interactions. Okay, buffs might be a no-go, but what about Friends, Wish, Contact Other Plane? More uses for existing spells or mundane abilities wouldn't go amiss either: e.g. Lighting explossives with Fireball (This seems like it will be in PoE2, yay), leaping/teleporting over/through obstacles, interaction with corpses (see Arcanum's Resurrect or Conjure Spirit spells (could be cast on ANY corpse in the game, often to hilarious effect)).

 

I think PoE1 lacked these sorts of interactions specifically because they were short on time/resources and not because of any philosophical opposition to their implementation. After all, their solution was to boil these sorts of things down to scripted interactions: a feature explicitely designed to save development time while still letting them add to the RPG experience.

 

Of course, scripted interactions are nice and I wouldn't want to see them go. But, can we take a step back now and look at making the rest of the game more dynamic (read: less restricted), as well?

Edited by Barleypaper
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 When I started reading this thread I thought adding pre-buffing would make PoE2 more fun, for me, than PoE was. Now, I'm not so sure. I also thought that I liked the PoE attribute system. Now, I'm not so sure. Maybe later someone will be able to convince me that I don't want more out-of-combat spell/ability interactions, who knows! The important thing, for me, is that things that are important to me about this game are being discussed, even if that discussion process is slow, painful and, ultimately, leads to nothing changing whatsoever.

This is one of the best things I've read on here in a long time. SO well said. Even if you climb back up to the exact same state of certainty about either of those things, the fact that your certainty can be tested means everything. That's all constructive discussion is. Just a great big co-op game of Certainty Tester 2K17. :)

 

I'm very excited about the kinds of things we'll see in Deadfire, with its greater developmental breathing room and its increased budget. I second the desire for more out-of-combat spell/ability interactions. That's my favorite thing about tabletop games is just how much utility there is with a lot of things. I was that guy in DnD that always bought all the weird "knick-knacks" and always had like rope and chain and stuff in my pack, while everyone else was spending all their coin on the best sword they could get. I also did some pretty crazy stuff with Wizard spells, heh.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Anyway, back on topic: I'd love more out-of-combat spell/ability interactions. Okay, buffs might be a no-go, but what about Friends, Wish, Contact Other Plane? More uses for existing spells or mundane abilities wouldn't go amiss either: e.g. Lighting explossives with Fireball (This seems like it will be in PoE2, yay), leaping/teleporting over/through obstacles, interaction with corpses (see Arcanum's Resurrect or Conjure Spirit spells (could be cast on ANY corpse in the game, often to hilarious effect)).

Yes, but I have a feeling they are not going that way. Cetainly there won't be any powerful spells (like "Wish") with "per encounter" mechanic, as that would mean they would be unlimited outside combat. But one of the things I would love to see in PoE is consistency and usefulness of skills and spells in all branches of gameplay.

 

When game uses multiple gameplay mechanics there needs to be something to tie them together, otherwise game feels disjointed. For a long time I couldn't figure out why none of Arkham clones were that satisfying and I came to conclusion that it was due to gadget/skill design. Arkham uses fewer skills/gadget but they come into play with all branches of gameplay - combat, stealth, exploration, puzzle solving. Thanks to that game feels unified and consistant and all aspects of gameplay get expanded on throughout the game.

 

PoE1 was good but division between various gameplay branches (combat, expoloration, NPC interaction, scriprted interactions) felt seperate. I would really like to see those mechanics overlap more and translate character's skills into different scenarios. 

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I know these forums are dead now that beta is up, but I HAD to post this tweet by Josh 'cause I found it hilarious :D

https://twitter.com/jesawyer/status/933128440223379456

 

(Now, are there actually people who watch those anime seriously - expect children?)

Makes me wish we could use what Concelhaut learned and become a Lich ourselves in PoE 2

 

What do you mean that's now what i was supposed to get from that video?

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I know these forums are dead now that beta is up, but I HAD to post this tweet by Josh 'cause I found it hilarious :D

https://twitter.com/jesawyer/status/933128440223379456

 

(Now, are there actually people who watch those anime seriously - expect children?)

 

But… But… But… How does it end? ☺

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Nescire autem quid ante quam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum. Quid enim est aetas hominis, nisi ea memoria rerum veterum kum superiorum aetate contexitur? Marcus Tillius Cicero

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I know these forums are dead now that beta is up, but I HAD to post this tweet by Josh 'cause I found it hilarious :D

https://twitter.com/jesawyer/status/933128440223379456

 

(Now, are there actually people who watch those anime seriously - expect children?)

 

But… But… But… How does it end? ☺

 

Haha there's the episode in youtube but I could't watch it. Too stupid and it was not for childern after all!

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I know these forums are dead now that beta is up, but I HAD to post this tweet by Josh 'cause I found it hilarious :D

https://twitter.com/jesawyer/status/933128440223379456

 

(Now, are there actually people who watch those anime seriously - expect children?)

 

But… But… But… How does it end? ☺

 

Haha there's the episode in youtube but I could't watch it. Too stupid and it was not for childern after all!

 

NOW you made me curious

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I know these forums are dead now that beta is up, but I HAD to post this tweet by Josh 'cause I found it hilarious :D

https://twitter.com/jesawyer/status/933128440223379456

 

(Now, are there actually people who watch those anime seriously - expect children?)

 

But… But… But… How does it end? ☺

 

Haha there's the episode in youtube but I could't watch it. Too stupid and it was not for childern after all!

 

 

The fight only last one episode?… PHA, clearly not a boss.

 

Nescire autem quid ante quam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum. Quid enim est aetas hominis, nisi ea memoria rerum veterum kum superiorum aetate contexitur? Marcus Tillius Cicero

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I know these forums are dead now that beta is up, but I HAD to post this tweet by Josh 'cause I found it hilarious :D

https://twitter.com/jesawyer/status/933128440223379456

 

(Now, are there actually people who watch those anime seriously - expect children?)

 

I get it from the standpoint of a business.  It reduces the hours for development time.  It is much easier to just disable something that has many variables.

 

I don't get it from the stand point of trying to make a truly innovative experience which I really admired about BG.  

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I know these forums are dead now that beta is up, but I HAD to post this tweet by Josh 'cause I found it hilarious :Dhttps://twitter.com/jesawyer/status/933128440223379456

(Now, are there actually people who watch those anime seriously - expect children?)

 

 

I get it from the standpoint of a business.  It reduces the hours for development time.  It is much easier to just disable something that has many variables.

 

I don't get it from the stand point of trying to make a truly innovative experience which I really admired about BG.

......

 

“It’s not the same as a game I played 20 years ago” so it’s not “Innovative”. :-D

 

It’s nothing to do with complexity of design, or creativity or being innovative. It’s just some people don’t like going through checklists before every fight. But we have been through all of that before.

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I know these forums are dead now that beta is up, but I HAD to post this tweet by Josh 'cause I found it hilarious :Dhttps://twitter.com/jesawyer/status/933128440223379456

(Now, are there actually people who watch those anime seriously - expect children?)

 

I get it from the standpoint of a business.  It reduces the hours for development time.  It is much easier to just disable something that has many variables.

 

I don't get it from the stand point of trying to make a truly innovative experience which I really admired about BG.

......

 

“It’s not the same as a game I played 20 years ago” so it’s not “Innovative”. :-D

 

It’s nothing to do with complexity of design, or creativity or being innovative. It’s just some people don’t like going through checklists before every fight. But we have been through all of that before.

 

 

It(BG) was very innovative for the time(still is today in many respects otherwise people wouldn't be looking to them now for inspiration) and if you think otherwise I would suggest watching the video I posted about the history of the games.  It is very long at like 2 hours, but it details many of the aspects I think have merit.

 

I have said this over and over again, but that wasn't required(pre-buffing).  It never was required(pre-buffing).  No one ALWAYS does it.(pre-buffing)

 

Again if you like PoE then that is good, but I don't think disabling something because it is hard to deal with is pushing the boundaries.(innovative)  

 

Making a fantasy fight simulation realistic is opening the game up.  Removing all restrictions and having the enemies react in realistic ways where your actions effect the outcome of the story in a world where you can be good, indifferent, or evil to the core.  

 

Obviously you can't have a DM, but today our computers are powerful enough to create semi-realistic AI and deal with pre-buffing I think pretty well.  

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 It(BG) was very innovative for the time...

 

"You keep using that word... I do not think it means what you think it means."

 

- Inigo Montoya

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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It(BG) was very innovative for the time (still is today in many respects otherwise people wouldn't be looking to them now for inspiration) and if you think otherwise I would suggest watching the video I posted about the history of the games.  It is very long at like 2 hours, but it details many of the aspects I think have merit.

 

...

 

Again if you like PoE then that is good, but I don't think disabling something because it is hard to deal with is pushing the boundaries.(innovative)  

 

Making a fantasy fight simulation realistic is opening the game up.  Removing all restrictions and having the enemies react in realistic ways where your actions effect the outcome of the story in a world where you can be good, indifferent, or evil to the core.  

 

Obviously you can't have a DM, but today our computers are powerful enough to create semi-realistic AI and deal with pre-buffing I think pretty well.

 

Of course, Baldur’s Gate was innovative at the time. It translated nerdy turn based RPG into slick real time adventure, which anyone could enjoy. Baldur’s Gate2 set a new standard of quest design and RPG structure, which lead to a new way of making RPG and in time decline of RPG (games which were good but not really RPGs - Mass Effect, Jade Empire). Because BG was innovative in its accessibility and storytelling, not simulation. Games like fallout were much more sim RPGs. BG pretty much ignored who your PC is and rolled with prewritten story with few real choices to make. Your ability to interact with world was much more limited than in previous RPGs - but pacing and quality of storytelling went up.

 

Now you come from assumption that game should strive to be a simulation. It’s a notion I understand to some degree as it was what I believed a long time ago. But that’s not true. Designers should figure out what is fun and what is not and adjust, limit and cut what isn’t fun.

 

When interviewer asked Hitch****, why characters in his movies don’t go to police when something bad happens his answer was “because it would be boring”. I also like another of his quote: “Drama is life with dull bits cut out”.

 

You seem annoyed with us pointing out prebuffing and need to balance with that in mind. Here is why: in order for combat to not be dull it needs to pose challenge. If prebuffing is allowed to present a challange you need to balance for prebuffed party. If you don’t, it is to easy to make every engagement trivial making drama of the game dull. While Baldur’s Gate 2 is one of my favourite titles of all times it’s not flawless. It is one of very big design flaws clashing with gameplay and storytelling.

 

PoE is expanding what made BG great (storytelling, quest design, character creation and development, visual presentation) and polishing its flaws. It’s iterative rather than innovative as it’s building upon what IE games did. Keeping way of how spells worked without an attempt to fix their problems wouldn’t be innovative. It would be a bland repetition and without nostalgia goggles it’s flaws might not go unforgiven.

 

If you want a complex and systematically consistent fantasy simulator... well, BG was never that. I would welcome a more consistent system, which nicely interact with all aspects of gameplay. But for that we would need to throw out IE roots and start and innovative RPG from scratch. Now hoping that the misterious Obsidian project is just that.

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Now you come from assumption that game should strive to be a simulation. It’s a notion I understand to some degree as it was what I believed a long time ago. But that’s not true. Designers should figure out what is fun and what is not and adjust, limit and cut what isn’t fun.

And if simulation is fun? What then?

 

Designers strive to make the games they want to make, nothing more. We can keep saying BG2 sucked until Baator freezes over but the fact remains that I enjoyed it a good deal more than PoE. And that goes for the rest of the IE games, as well.

 

Different people have different, equally valid, views on what is and is not fun. Because fun is subjective. This should go without saying.

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And if simulation is fun? What then?

Designers strive to make the games they want to make, nothing more. We can keep saying BG2 sucked until Baator freezes over but the fact remains that I enjoyed it a good deal more than PoE. And that goes for the rest of the IE games, as well.

Different people have different, equally valid, views on what is and is not fun. Because fun is subjective. This should go without saying.

Absolutely. The point I was trying to make is that games are not simulations of reality. Yes, there a simulators, but even those aren’t simulations. I like flight sims, car sims, I enjoy sims like Kerbal Space Program or Oxygen not Included but they are all games not simulators. Statement that making fantasy game combat “realistic” is objectively better is ignoring what games are. Games don’t work because they are realistic. They work because of mechanics, which create interesting problems to interact with/solve. And, again, Baldur’s Gate was never a simulator. Why are spells limited per rest? How do you “forget them”? It’s a game mechanic from PnP RPG. One that worked fine in tabletop and didn’t translate all that well to cRPG.

 

Never said BG2 sucked (again one of my fav titles of all time), but it had design flaws. I also refuse to acknowledge prebuffing as some kind of higher, more intelligent, sophisticated game design. I also accept and understand that it is what some people want, though I am convinced reasons they want it is not what OP claims it is. I did get annoyed by constant suggestions by OP that changes made to game system are due to lazyless, financial constrained and lack of creativity while never responding to arguments against such system.

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And if simulation is fun? What then?

Designers strive to make the games they want to make, nothing more. We can keep saying BG2 sucked until Baator freezes over but the fact remains that I enjoyed it a good deal more than PoE. And that goes for the rest of the IE games, as well.

Different people have different, equally valid, views on what is and is not fun. Because fun is subjective. This should go without saying.

Absolutely. The point I was trying to make is that games are not simulations of reality. Yes, there a simulators, but even those aren’t simulations. I like flight sims, car sims, I enjoy sims like Kerbal Space Program or Oxygen not Included but they are all games not simulators. Statement that making fantasy game combat “realistic” is objectively better is ignoring what games are. Games don’t work because they are realistic. They work because of mechanics, which create interesting problems to interact with/solve. And, again, Baldur’s Gate was never a simulator. Why are spells limited per rest? How do you “forget them”? It’s a game mechanic from PnP RPG. One that worked fine in tabletop and didn’t translate all that well to cRPG.

 

Never said BG2 sucked (again one of my fav titles of all time), but it had design flaws. I also refuse to acknowledge prebuffing as some kind of higher, more intelligent, sophisticated game design. I also accept and understand that it is what some people want, though I am convinced reasons they want it is not what OP claims it is. I did get annoyed by constant suggestions by OP that changes made to game system are due to lazyless, financial constrained and lack of creativity while never responding to arguments against such system.

 

Yes, I agree. There are a lot of outrageous statements being thrown around and I think OP could have phrased his arguments much more reasonably. I don't agree with you saying that games are not simulations of reality. But, that's just semantics; I understand your point.

 

No, simulations do not strive to recreate every aspect of the thing they are simulating. That would be tedious and impossible. However, RPGs do seek to create believable, semi-realistic, reactive worlds that can immerse players into some role. That's their goal as a game genre, the mechanics service the goal. This is what I mean when I say "simulation". Some people, and I'll even point my finger at Mr Sawyer here, seem to be under the impression that the most important facet of a fantasy RPG simulation is having a perfectly balanced combat system. I firmly believe that combat balance and "smooth gameplay" is not only less important than most people assume, it is sometimes detrimental to the overall experience.

 

The clip from Overlord made me laugh but it was, obviously, a parody. To look at that and say: "this is why pre-buffing is bad game design" is absurd.

 

One of Josh's oft-repeated arguments doesn't sit well with me:

 

"i've worked on 3 games + 4 expansions that allowed pre-buffing and it always, uniformly results in a large power gap that grows in size as the levels pile on. for every pre-buff that is a hard counter or reactive spell, there are 2 or more straight stat bumps. the straight stat bumps are no-brainers before any fight, have no opportunity cost, and bias the fight heavily toward the party."

 

This assumes that "a large power gap" is automatically a bad thing, it's not. It's simply a different experience. Yes, I played a wizard in BG2. So did a lot of people. I found it a fantastically fun and dynamic class despite, or perhaps because of, its blatant disregard for the rules and balance of the game. It's a single-player game. There is no contract of fairness and, from my experience, the lack of such a contract adds considerably to the believability of the simulation. (this argument really can't be stressed enough)

 

Also, PoE has pre-buffing: food. And, this gives you a "straight stat bump". Eating food in PoE is a no-brainer. Why does this get a pass? (this argument is weaker, and can probably be stressed enough)

 

I could go on and nit-pick everything Josh has ever said but I don't want to give the impression that I think he's wrong. His ideas just aren't conducive to the kind of experience I want. Call it "innovation", call it "good game design", I call it a series of well-intentioned steps in the wrong direction. YMMV.

Edited by Barleypaper
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Designers have their own experiences, ideas and bias about designing. If was designing a game I wouldn't implement pre-buffing either, because I think it's freaking boring and adds nothing, when, if I move it to when actual combat occurs, it makes things more interesting because it is a crucial risk/tradeoff (do I want to push with damage or should I buff the party now? etc).

Obviously Josh is against it, beta testers don't seem to bother about it - this is the only thread about this subject - so I guess we all have to accept this is a no pre-buffing game, for better or worse.

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@Barleypaper

 

i disagree personally. I think its a step in the right direction and i do agree with Sawyer that large power-gaps are undesirable especially if you consider the point of view of the designer (though i dislike them even as a player). You go to all this trouble to design 12 classes and you end up with 80% of the playerbase playing 3 or them... how is that good design? Might as well only have those 3 OP classes and be done with it. Moreover, without previous knowledge of which classes are super powerful and which are sub-par you punish the players (especially those that are just starting with the game) for a choice they made at the start if/when they end up being stuck due to a sub-par choice. In BG1's expansion (SoD) there was an encounter where the "good" choice was to have a one on one duel with some celestial lieutenant of Caelar Argent... the difficulty varied greatly based on which class the protagonist chose. A new player who chose the "wrong" class would get stuck there or alternatively would be obligated to make a choice that may not be in character for his protagonist... or ofc he could downgrade the difficulty (if possible) which would enhance the feeling that his character is weak even further ... either way you detract from their fun and punish them for what is essentially bad design (imho). Going further from this idea, there is a potential consequence even for a seasoned player who for instance would want to complete the game on PotD in that he might be/feel pigeonholed into selecting from a very limited class pool which again hurts his enjoyment of the game...

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However, RPGs do seek to create believable, semi-realistic, reactive worlds that can immerse players into some role. That's their goal as a game genre, the mechanics service the goal. This is what I mean when I say "simulation". Some people, and I'll even point my finger at Mr Sawyer here, seem to be under the impression that the most important facet of a fantasy RPG simulation is having a perfectly balanced combat system. I firmly believe that combat balance and "smooth gameplay" is not only less important than most people assume, it is sometimes detrimental to the overall experience.

 

...

 

It's a single-player game. There is no contract of fairness and, from my experience, the lack of such a contract adds considerably to the believability of the simulation. (this argument really can't be stressed enough)

Also, PoE has pre-buffing: food. And, this gives you a "straight stat bump". Eating food in PoE is a no-brainer. Why does this get a pass? (this argument is weaker, and can probably be stressed enough)

I could go on and nit-pick everything Josh has ever said but I don't want to give the impression that I think he's wrong. His ideas just aren't conducive to the kind of experience I want. Call it "innovation", call it "good game design", I call it a series of well-intentioned steps in the wrong direction. YMMV.

Thank for insightful and thoughtful response. I believe you make good points: RPGs can (and potentially should) work as a simulation. As a player you are given a set of tools, you decide which “tools” are your characters good at using and you use those “tools” to solve problems in a way which feels appropriate. As usual Fallout or Arcanum springs to mind with that design. Divinity and Wasteland 2 to some extend from more recent titles. I like to call those “sanbox RPGs”. You create character, you enter an area/world and you interact with it with available skills. You need to rescue a prisoner? All you have is a map & objective as long as prisoner leaves map with you we are good. Pick locks, pass speech check, kill everyone, pickpocket key, bribe anything you want. Cool. It’s not Baldur’s Gate.

 

Baldur’s Gate is a compilation of heavily directed quests with clear “conversation, combat, exploration” parts. Your class doesn’t influence story nor world. Your skills rarely are useful outside combat (with few exceptions I will get into that) - an example I can think of is in BG2 during troll siege of a keep you can mindcontrol an NPC in order to avoiding killing him. Baldur’s Gate did have spells handy outside of combat and I did really liked those - unlocking doors, finding traps, wish. Those were really really good and I those non combat abilities would be welcome addition to PoE. It’s poorer for lack of those.

 

But Baldur’s Gate wasn’t a sandbox in which you created your stories. You were a participant in a story told to you by GM. You enter the room and there is combat. After combat your search for clues. You find a blooded green piece of cloth. You confront NPC dressed in green. He is an archmage. You can accept a bribe or report him to authorities. You threaten to report him and tough combat ensues ending the quest. That was the innovation of BG and its influence (to some extend detrimental) to RPGs. Better paced stories, giving your character set motivation with film worthy villains and characters. Reputation system was basic (and heavily unbalanced toward good players - try playing selfish or neutral character and you won’t find quests to complete), ability to interact with the world minimal. And with this design big power gap is an issue. You want to confront a character against some easier mobs and than a big baddy. A dragon or a powerful NPC you have been chasing for a long time. You want it to be a big epic battle which will work as a grand finale of a quest. How do you make that happen if player can just spend couple minutes before combat and make himself invincible? Ironicus fight anyone?

 

So you see, I see Pillars as a true spiritual successor of BG. They expand strengths of the game - it’s more interactive and reactive. Your character stats and abilities have influence in conversations and scripted interactions while in BG they would be relevant in combat only. You have more choices when it comes to quests and game supports a wider range of characters to role play as (as opposed to Bioware good, evil guy). With pickpocketing and better stealth we might even see a bit of fluid quest design in PoE2. But it’s not a “sandbox RPG” just like BG never was one. Which is ok. We can have both.

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